Head Over Heels with Melanie: Valentine's Day Date Favorites

Call me a sucker, but Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays.  It could be because my family was in the chocolate business or it could be because I love greeting cards, but either way it makes me happy.  I know it's cheesy, but whether it be with friends, a husband or a new someone special, I also love that it reminds us to appreciate the love we have in our life.  Who doesn't love an excuse for a date night!  Whether you are going out to a fancy shmancy dinner or night out with your girlfriends its definitely time to put on an outfit that makes you feel amazing!

Here are some of my favorite dresses that are flirty, fun and just the right amount of Valentine's Day cheer.   These all happen to be in shades of pink and red, but really just have fun with it!  Valentine's Day is also a great day to get in touch with your sexy side.  Show a little leg!  He'll love it!  And for us pregnant ladies, you have not been forgotten!  Over on my blog I am sharing my favorite pregnant Vday maternity dresses as well!  After all, nothing says Happy Valentine's day like a big ol' baby bump!  ;)  Have a great holiday lovies!!!

Check out Head Over Heels with Melanie here!

{One, two, three, four, five}


Printed Matter: Love Musings

We can spend hours on the internet searching high and low for the perfect prints to cover our walls. When it comes to the topic of love, we adore something that's sweet, to the point and easy on the eyes. Whether it's a classic quote, something colorful, sassy or a blend of beautiful hues, we find inspiration from all things love. These darling sweet nothings are a wonderful way to fill your walls {and your Pinterest boards!}. Our favorite is The Big Harumph's kraft paper print! That's our kind of lovin'!! Happy Love Week!

We adore these prints from First Snow Fall {Arrigo Boito, J.R.R Toliken and Frank Sinatra}; C'est tout {French for "It's everything"} by Ampersand Design Studio; Yellow Button Studio's "Be In Love" print; The Big Harumph's I Love the Shit Out of You.

Oh My Deer's E.E. Cummings Quote; Ocean of Love from Huebucket; large format "My One True Love" download from Caravan; "Let's Fall In Love" from Gus + Lula.


Real Wedding: Abigail & Matt, Sonoma, California

Real Wedding: Abigail and Matt
Photography by Megan Clouse Photography

The Love Story: Matt and Abigail met through mutual friends during their freshman year of college. "We can both still remember the electricity we felt during our first conversation," says Abigail. "On our first date to the movies a few weeks later, I asked if he would warm my icy hands. Not only did he warm my hands, but he melted my heart. Ten years later, after grad school we had already shared so much together. I was thrilled to accept Matt's proposal that we officially spend forever together."

The Lovely Details: "At one point during shortly after becoming engaged we considered having a very small wedding, possibly even an elopement since neither of us favor the spotlight. It didn't take us long to realize that although the wedding was between the two of us, it was most important to bring our two families together. With our families scattered from coast to coast, we wanted to to find a location that felt romantic and relaxing.

"We selected California wine country as the setting for our semi-destination wedding and decorated the already-beautiful venue with shades of yellow and muted shades of gold, peach, purple, and green. Seeing how it all came together, we can't imagine our wedding without the help of our parents and our incredible wedding coordinator, Heather Holliday."

Our favorite moment of the night was the ceremony which was officiated by Matt's uncle, Jack. Between Jack's touching reflection on marriage, our vows, and the ringing of little bells by our guests when we kissed, there was something spiritual which we'll never forget.


Venue: Cline Cellars
Photography: Collection Member Megan Clouse Photography
Coordinator: Holliday Weddings
Bridal Dress: Maggie Sottero
Bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew and Ann Taylor
Florist: Anne Appleman Flowers & Plants
Catering: Park Avenue Catering
Cake: Fleur de Lisa Wedding Cakes                                              
Hair & Makeup:
JS Makeup Artistry
Table Arrangements: Yellow ranunculus and succulent arrangements by Bride and Bride's mother
Paper Goods: CDesignIllustration
Rentals: Wine Country Party Rentals


Valentine's Day Florals from Collection Members

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, so get your flowers ordered now for your favorite people. Who says you can't send Valentine's Day flowers to your best friend, mama or even your man?! Contact Collection Members La Fleuriste, Valley Flora, and Daisy Rose Floral Design to place your order for next Thursday. 


Introducing Love & Lovely Wedding Studio

When we announced The Collection would be focusing more on our online presence in 2013 {and consequently closing our studio space in Sonoma}, members Allyson Wiley and Claire of PoppyStone Floral Couture chimed in and wanted to know if they could move in to our space. What started as an office for Allyson and Claire has expanded into something even greater. Love and Lovely Wedding Studio is a collaborative effort between Allyson, Claire, fellow Collection Members L'Relyea Events and Sweet on Cake, and videographer Edge Fog Films.

In the coming months Allyson, Claire and their fellow Love & Lovely Weddings Studio partners will be using the space for client meetings, as well as a place to house creativity and inspiration for future events, communiter events and industry workshops. Be sure to "like" Love & Lovely Wedding Studio on Facebook to get all the updates about the new digs at 521B Broadway in Sonoma! Congratulations ladies!


Printed Matter: Valentine's Day Round Up

We love sending cards to say "Hello", but we also love sending cards to say "I love you". These are only some of our favorites right now. If only it was acceptable to give your main squeeze three, four, or five cards! Just too many to pick from! From right to left: Hello! Lucky's Falling for You, Lighthouse, King and Queen. 

That's What's Up, Wool Ewe Be Mine, and Heart Sore Balloon by Egg Press. Rifle Paper Co. nails it yet again with their Valentine's Day Garland, Be Mine, Floral Heart and Je T'Aime cards.

Quill and Fox's You've Stolen My Heart and You & Me; Mr. Boddington's Studio's A Smitten Pocahontas, Perfect Pairs, Smitten Kitten, and Hearts.  

Kissy Kissy from Hello Small World; Infinity by Vivid & Livid; For When You're Kind of Together But It's Not a Big Deal from Emily McDowell Draws; Dear Hancock Love Loom; Julie Ann Art Let's Make This Last Forever.

Hello!Lucky is a member of The Collection Event Studio.


In Full Bloom: What's in Season - February


Ask a Member: Daisy of Daisy Rose Floral Design

We're thrilled to have Daisy Rose as a member of The Collection. What is it about The Collection that inspires or excites you?  It's fantastic to have a group of vendors that I can confidently refer clients to, knowing that they will be in capable hands.   It also doesn't hurt that every vendor in The Collection is creative, fresh and a constant resource of inspiration. 

(Krista Marie Photography)

Where to you find inspiration as a designer?    Obviously, as a florist, my source, both real and inspirational, is nature, but I have to say that my best ideas and inspirations come to me unexpectedly at the moment just between wake and sleep.  I will have these challenges in design or structure that stump me for days.  I'll finally let it go and start to drift off when some realization will startle me awake.  It drives my husband up the wall.

(Scott Andrew Studio)

What's your personal aesthetic?   I grew up in Sonoma and have spent most of my life here, so I have a very real love of the incredible beauty of this area.  It's inevitable that this is apparent my designs.   I create arrangements that are natural, relaxed and never stuffy or uptight, because that's not who I am.  I like my arrangements to be a showcase of the natural beauty of each flower, as if it were being presented in it's best light.  I don't like to make arrangements that are trying to "improve" on that beauty by having flowers that appear to be growing upside down, or in a perfectly round ball, because I think those unnatural shapes take away from something nature has already perfected.

(Jessamyn Harris Photography, Bliss Fotography)

Is there a particular bride that gravitates toward your work?  All types of brides + grooms find their way to my studio, but the ones that get the most excited are those that share not only an aesthetic, but also have a similar philosophy on how their wedding should feel, both during the planning process and on the big day.  These couples tend to be looking for something different and unique, and if I'm lucky, they give me the creative reigns with a few color or flower suggestions and ask me run with it.  That's not to say that I don't love the challenge of realizing the vision of a very particular client.  When your design is given boundaries (only white flowers, or only linear designs, must have pink, etc.) is when creative solutions emerge that would otherwise have gone unawakened.

{Krista Marie Photography}

In creating arrangements for a Wine Country event, what are your flowers and objects of choice?  It depends on the season, my mood and what the client wants.  Some clients come to me with very clear ideas of which flowers they like or don't like, but to be honest, there isn't a single material or flower that can't be used to beautiful effect.  Any flower can be the star of an arrangement.  That said, I do gravitate to any flowers that I haven't used in awhile.   

What are your summertime flower favorites?  Dahlias.  They're one of the few flowers that you can only get locally and during a few glorious months of the summer.  When their season is done, that's it, and I think that makes them all the more special.  Plus, they come in an amazing array of colors, textures and sizes to make any florist giddy with delight. 

(Bliss Fotography, Whitney Turner Photography)

What’s next in wedding floral design {color combinations, materials, philosophy}?  I think floral design, like everything else, is slowing moving towards a more environmentally sustainable model.  I think that in ten years time you won't see all of the icky floral foam, gels, plastics, spray paints, leaf shines, or other unnatural products that mark traditional floristry.  So, the flowers and the methods will be "greener" and the designs themselves are moving into a looser, more natural and fluid look, slowly replacing the more traditional and tighter shapes.

What is your idea of the perfect day?  An early morning trip to the beach with my boys (husband + 2 dogs) on a cold, cold day with hot soup in a thermos and maybe a touch of brandy in hot chocolate for the walk.

(Jessamyn Harris Photography)

Daisy Rose Floral Design is a member of The Collection Event Studio. Say hello here.

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